It was a Long Week
After an incredibly long 5 days, I finally got the chance to assimilate what I learned from the Prague folks at the C level DNS course.
Despite coming out with a few good exercise tweaks, I left disappointed. I will need some extreme convincing to continue on with their course work.
A man I respect a lot, Charlie Weingroff, likes asking a question regarding interventions:
“Can your treatments beat my tests?”
With that in mind, I looked at DNS’s capability to beat my tests, which are predominately making changes to PRI objective measures.
The answer: Mostly no. I felt a lot of activity with many of the exercises, but if we cannot make measurable changes, then the intervention is not effective. And with the DNS “objective” measures, positive change is attributed visually only.
I don’t care how good your eyes are, you can never know if a joint achieves maximal bony congruency by just watching movement.
Granted, I did get a few things that I will use regularly. But to get 4 or 5 takeaways for a $1000 price-tag, I feel there are better ways to spend money. Like on shawarma and stuff.
Here are my likes and dislikes.
Days 1 & 2 aka DNS A & B
The first two days were predominately review of the A and B courses; looking over developmental positions and reflex locomotion. It was nice to review old concepts, but does it really have to take two days to do?
Spending a full day with DNS creator Pavel Kolar was unfortunately the course low-light. I am sure he is a very intelligent man, but his poor English and general disorganization made his lecture incredibly arduous to follow. Moreover, his thought process for why he does what he does is never explained. He just, does things.
When you have Pavel and Alena apologizing for their lecture, you know that will not be a good sign.
He spoke a lot about training gnostic functions to alter perception and function. Gnostic capabilities include stereognosis, graphesthesia, proprioception, body awareness, etc. He argues that people who excel in these areas will always trump those faster and stronger once development is equalized.
He kept referring to Roger Federer and Jaromir Jagr as basically gnostic kings; and the reason for their career longevity. Each of these players were able to tell weight differences with their respective rackets and sticks to within 100 grams, which is pretty insane. I definitely think there may be some merit in attempting to train these qualities, but we cannot forget about the pattern recognition capabilities that these athletes have. Because they have seen everything before, cues in their brain allow them to react and perform as quickly as possible. This factor definitely contributes to their successes.
For a better explanation of this phenomenon, watch this recent segment by my man Bill Hartman talking about boxing legend Bernard Hopkins.
He also talked quite a bit about relaxation being the key to performance. When you look at top performers from an EMG perspective, activity stays low until the split second they need to generate the right amount of force. The better you are able to relax, the better you are able to move.
I also have to give Pavel credit in stressing that the brain is DNS’s target. I will attribute this quote to him:
“Structure is always together with the brain, immunology, and endocrinology.”
Reflex Locomotion is the Next Big Thing
Hahaha just kidding.
This DNS area was a major turn-off for me for multiple reasons. Now there were people in class, myself included, that got reactions; but the instructors will tell you these reactions are artificial. So what is the point? How will this change affect function? Do people who have no idea what is supposed to happen get reactions?
And there is no way in hell you can say reflex locomotion is therapeutic for children. There were several patient demonstrations, but what stood out to me was performing RL on a 21 month old baby who was developmentally at about 5 months. Seeing the clinician pin down the child in these positions while she cried the entire time (at least 10-15 minutes) left me angry and near the point of tears for this poor child. The video below was quite similar to what I saw (warning, not easy to watch):
We know what stress does to development, and to stress this child repeatedly throughout the week with reflex locomotion was far from beneficial.
Was There Good Stuff?
Yes, there were a few pretty sweet tricks I picked up that I will use.
The first is a very nice cue for a low-kneeling exercise, which I will dub the rockback press. You will easily be the mayor of Serratus City with this beast.
Another thing I picked up was making quadruped just purely evil. It is all in the setup. Aside from maintaining a neutral spine position (perhaps centrated lolz), the biggest tweaks you can make include loading through the wrist and shins. So for example when performing a bird-dog exercise, instead of lifting the arms and legs, think about putting so much weight through your wrist and shin that your opposite extremities have to leave the ground by necessity.
The Klapp worth Having
We spent a great deal of day 4 working on Klapp crawling, which is basically sliding along the floor on all fours. Once you get the hang of this technique, you will feel muscle activity just about everywhere. Here were the two patterns that I liked the best. I recommend performing these activities with gloves and knee pads
After I did both of these patterns, I was able to hit a legit 3 on the FMS rotary stability, so there may be some legitimacy to these techniques. I will have to play more.
So that is what I got out of DNS C. I definitely got some good ideas amongst the crap over the past three courses, but until they get a little more organized and cut costs, I will not recommend them past A & B. Get the concepts, then move on.
Great review as always Zac. Tell us how you really feel!
PRI pain science PNF /1000 > DNS
Really good stuff ZCupp – love the quadruped hacks!
Thank you for the kind words Mike. Makes bird-dogs and crawling a completely different animal 🙂
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